Lightning Making a Big Mistake by Letting Stamkos Walk

Photo Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

For months, Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Julien Brisebois has said that re-signing captain Steven Stamkos is a priority for the team. He even made moves at the NHL draft to free up salary cap space, leading many to believe an extension was on the horizon.

Then came a shocking turn of events. Brisebois told Lightning beat writer Gabby Shirley on June 29 that he didn’t offer Stamkos a revised deal, even after trading Mikhail Sergachev and Tanner Jeannot in separate deals.

With the clock ticking and no agreement in place, it’s looking like the first overall pick in 2008 is about to leave the only organization he’s ever known.

Personally, I believe that the team is making a massive mistake by allowing a guy who has given his all to this franchise walk as a free agent.

Remember 2016? Stamkos took a small pay cut to stay in Tampa Bay for eight more years. Since then, he’s captained two Stanley Cup winning teams and four that made it to the Stanley Cup finals.

His list of accomplishments are long, as he became one of only two players to play 1,000 games with the Lightning. He also reached 1,000 points, all while wearing Bolts blue.

None of that seems to matter though, with Brisebois only offering him an eight year contract worth $3M per year. That is less than what he’s looking for, believed to be in the range of $4-$5M a year, leading to an impasse.

Can the two sides reach a deal in the few hours leading up to the start of free agency? While it looks unlikely, there’s always a possibility. That is the only silver lining in a saga that could put a huge black eye on an organization that has prided itself on being “world-class.”

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

Lauren Burg

Lauren Burg is a Tampa Bay Lightning writer for “Inside the Rink.” A lifelong Tampa Bay Area resident, she graduated from the University of South Florida’s world-renowned journalism program in December 2009. While in college, she discovered hockey and the Tampa Bay Lightning. She quickly became a passionate fan, attending many games over the years. She also experienced an All-Star game in 2018, numerous road games, and, most recently, the Bolts back-to-back Stanley Cup championships. Since graduating college, she’s been working hard to combine her two loves, writing and hockey, hoping to one day make that her full-time career. In her free time, she enjoys attending sporting events (both home & road when possible), taking photos, and traveling.

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